Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Cardinal Hospitality

Last Sunday I was pretty hyped to be in a party suite at Busch Stadium, watching the game with 25-30 other Cardinal bloggers/writers as guests of the St. Louis Cardinals! My adventure started back in March when an email invitation to the 2011 Blogger Event arrived in my inbox, R.S.V.P. required.  Needless to say, that decision was a no-brainer.

On Sunday morning a group of us congregated outside of Busch Stadium, excited to soon be entering the stadium through the doors of the Cardinals Administrative Offices, located at 700 Clark Street.  We were greeted by Molly Radcliffe and Kathy Langenfield who gave us welcome packets full of information about ticket packages, special promotions, a “Tweet Me In St. Louis” t-shirt and our own copies of the beautiful 2011 Cardinals Media guide. Next we were escorted to a large conference room where Melody Yount (manager of media relations and new media) spoke briefly and then introduced John Mozeliak, the Cardinals General Manager.

Mr. Mozeliak gave us a quick state-of-the-team review and talked about the offseason moves and roster changes, then patiently took questions from the group for almost 30 minutes.  I must admit it was highly entertaining listening to a group of us “less experienced” new media types ask questions of the GM.  Everyone was well-behaved and respectful, but the nervous energy was palpable.  Mozeliak answered all questions.  None of it was “breaking news,” mostly statements we had heard before from him or the team.  But to give Mo some credit, he did inject some humor which lightened the mood.  For example, those in attendance now have a new frame of reference regarding our shortstop’s batting average (as it relates to the weight of Mo’s daughter).  Also, Mozeliak gave us a status report on Matt Holliday’s recovery from his appendectomy, using the word “bloated,” after which I promptly tuned out in order to clear that less-than-flattering visual from my head.  (Get well soon, Matt!)

Mo made his exit in order to attend to pressing Cardinals business, (why else wouldn’t he hang with us for lunch?) and Derek Throneburg filled us in on the new dynamic ticket pricing.  Honestly, after listening to Mr. Throneburg and perusing the glossy info sheets in our goodie bag, I am impressed by the effort of the Cardinals to provide tickets and packages at great bargains.  No more excuses….  You gotta get to a ballgame at Busch!

After all that official stuff (many thanks to Mr. Mozeliak for taking the time for the UCB Q&A!), we headed to the suites where the Cardinals provided a buffet of yummy food and drinks.  (Ask Angela about those brownies…) Jim Hayes of FoxSports Midwest stopped by to chat, but Fredbird stole the show when he flew in and posed for pictures.

Sunday’s Cardinals game was a must-see with Jaime Garcia throwing a complete game shut-out against the Padres, earning the Cardinals their first win of the season.  And even though I didn’t actually watch much of the game – my own fault: I was having too much fun chatting with other bloggers/writers that I had never actually met in person before – I will always remember that game experience.

By far, the best part of the event (for me) was the chance to finally meet all the great people of the UCB (United Cardinal Bloggers.)  Take it from me, even if you absolutely love how they write, they are even better in person!

Daniel Shoptaw (UCB founder and voice of C70 At The Bat) helped me come up with a list of the fine UCB folk who were present on Sunday.  Somehow I didn’t manage to meet them all, so I’ll be looking forward to next time!  Check out links to their great sites at the UCB Website.

Part of the UCB crew in attendance on Sunday
Photo courtsey of Daniel Shoptaw
Matt and Josh–Joe Sports Fan
Nick, Josh, Dennis–Pitchers Hit Eighth
Angela (and me)–Cardinal Diamond Diaries
Christine–Aaron Miles’ Fastball
Chris–Bird Brained
Daniel–C70 At The Bat
Bob–On The Outside Corner
Dustin–Welcome to Baseball Heaven
Kevin–Cards ‘N Stuff
John–STL: Fear The Red
Aaron–Cards Diaspora
Bill–I70 Baseball
Matt–Baseball Digest
Eugene–85% Sports
Steve–Gas House Graphs
Mike and Joe–Cards Droppings
Joe–The McBrayer-Baseball Blog
Tom and Ryan–Cardinals GM
Dathan–Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Goodnight
Justin–Intangiball/InsideSTL
Pip–Fungoes

But wait… there’s more!  (Way too much for one post.)
Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on how I ended up in the Busch Stadium press-box and what happened when Matthew Leach got stuck answering some of my questions. Plus, some of us wandered over to Paddy-O’s after the game….
No Cardinal baseball today, but the Memphis Redbirds take on the OKC Redhawks in Memphis tonight for Opening Day in the minor leagues!
Go Redbirds!!  =)

One response to “Cardinal Hospitality

  1. Dathan April 8, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    >Pretty awesome that I'm the only numbskull in the pic looking at the other camera. (c:

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